Email is still the number one reason people go online. It still commands the highest return on investment of any online media. It’s a much bigger deal than Facebook, which has about 860 million users last time I looked. Twitter, growing by leaps and bounds, is at about 500 million. Email has about 3.1 billion users! Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
People of all ages use email, compared with a somewhat younger demographic on other social media. And the numbers using email, while plateauing, are still increasing. Check out this great article by Tod Rathbone, The Reported Death of Email Is Premature, for all sorts of great data that proves this point (just in case you need to persuade any “powers that be”).
Yet email can be used effectively or… not so much.
Emailvision released the results of a survey completed November, 2011 revealing interesting insights regarding perceptions on and use of email as components of the online marketing mix. A key take-away is that few are fully implementing targeting and personalization into their campaigns – even though 97% of survey responders believe these are the most important factors in achieving the best response rates:
Email is alive; but the patient needs regular check-ups to thrive. Let’s stop sending ‘one size fits all’ campaigns to the entire data base. It’s said that content is king; delivered to the wrong people, however, it’s nothing. Let’s weave the data we have on donor interests, habits and preferences into our campaigns. Of course, all sorts of symptoms should be checked out (e.g. subject line, first sentence, link copy, call to action, date/time of delivery). Check out 17 Things I Have Learnt About Charity Email Copy for a great summary and some good links to additional resources. You can also download a white paper from Care2.com with 12 Best Practices for Email Marketing.
Make a doctor’s appointment for your email program. Set aside some time to look at it yourself and with your team; consider bringing in a consultant for a quick exam. Do you just need a bit of refreshing? Or a major creative overhaul. Do you know what your email looks like on a smart phone? Email is the number one activity people perform on their iphones, Androids and Blackberries.
The use of email may be evolving, but it’s nowhere near dead. Mark Zuckerberg may have us believe it’s dying, but one does need to use email to sign up for a Facebook account.